Countdown to Book Week costumes

Book week costumes

Sunday afternoon was spent sewing things for Book Week costumes.

It was pleasant to sit and sew in the warm kitchen, as the hail thrashed the windows and the trees bent over horizontally outside.

For international readers, Aussie schools celebrate Children’s Book Week by inviting students dress up as their favourite book character. Our school is doing dress-ups this Thursday.

It’s not compulsory to dress up, but EVERYONE does, even the school principal. The Children’s Book Council announces a theme, which this year is Reading is my Secret Power.

My favourite 10 year old has elected to go as Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja.

Book week costumes Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja

We already have black tracky daks and a black top – just needed some Ninja accessories.

Book week costumes Ninja outfit in Homespun mag
The sword and ninja hood came from this project in Homspun mag Jan 2014.
I’ve made the full set three times before, for nephew’s birthdays…..striving to be The Auntie Who Gives Cool Presents.
Book week costumes ninja accessories
The sword is just like the magazine’s. She chose the silver satin from my options of silver, old gold and yellow gold. The sword contains a plastic chopstick to keep it rigid.
The hood pattern got tweaked so that only the eyes were visible, to match the illustration on the book cover. I also gave it a central gusset, darts around the eye slit (to fit the head better) and made the whole thing bigger – the pattern only fits a 5 year old.

Just need to make a thing to carry the swords on her back.

My favourite 8 year old wanted to dress as Lucky Prescott from Spirit Riding Free (fur-trimmed jacket and mittens, gazing adoringly at the horse).

Book week costumes Spirit Riding Free

This costume has gone back to square one, after thinking I had it all sorted.

Book week costumes glossy painted boots
The costume requires brown riding boots, so last week I spray-painted her black boots brown. They came up beautifully glossy! However, 5 days later the “touch-dry in 30 minutes” paint was still tacky. Discovered that some paints don’t dry on rubber. I suggested we dust them with cocoa powder, but the reality is they’ll have to be cleaned before anyone can wear them.
Book week costumes cardigan and vest
We didn’t have a fur-trimmed jacket handy, but I got a faux-sheepskin vest from the op shop to cut up for the trim. I also had an old cardigan to use for the jacket part. But when we took another look at the book’s cover, we saw that the jacket was red, not brown. Aaarrgh!

So that’s the current Book Week costumes situation. I’m sure things will come together by Thursday. If we can’t manage Lucky Prescott, we have a back-up costume which I think will look great on her.



  1. Kay on August 19, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    Katie is going as Lucky too!

    • lizhaywood on August 19, 2019 at 6:17 pm

      Those girls already look like twins!

  2. Michelle Shaffer on August 19, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    Love the creative use of cocoa powder! And the reuse of clothing as trims. The kids not only enjoy the books they read, but they also learn the joys of thinking creatively, recycling, and role-playing.

    • lizhaywood on August 19, 2019 at 8:32 pm

      Cheers Michelle. We voted tonight to abandon Lucky Prescott and put plan B into action. Meanwhile, the tacky brown rubber boots sit in the laundry, waiting to be cleaned…

  3. Tom on August 19, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    If I’d known I could have lent you my ninja uniform to take a look at. I also have a bunch of plastic ninja weapons from showbags.

    • lizhaywood on August 20, 2019 at 9:09 am

      Gah! I had no idea you had all that stuff. Thanks for the offer anyway.

  4. Sewingelle on August 20, 2019 at 9:14 am

    So impressed with your creativity. Sadly ( and also not sadly) my book week costume making days are behind me.

    • lizhaywood on August 20, 2019 at 12:47 pm

      Thank you. I realised I only have three more book weeks after this, but maybe prom nights will fill the void.

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